Brazil’s Supreme Court Chief Justice Dias Toffoli struck down a decision that would have set former President Lula free from prison. Just hours prior, Justice Marco Aurélio Mello had granted an injunction afternoon ordering the release of all those who are serving jail sentences after an adverse appeal decision. The prime beneficiary of this measure is former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who could be released from jail this week. The plaintiff in the case was the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB).
Historically, prison sentences in Brazil are not executed until the defendant has exhausted all potential appeal routes of the country’s legal system—of which there are many. In the past, this has often led to convicts with the funds to hire expensive legal counsel avoiding jail time altogether.
In 2016, however, the Supreme Court went against this practice, forcing convicts to begin their sentences after their first failed appeal.